LYN HUMPHREYS 24/08/2012
A former New Plymouth man in a seven-year fight to get ACC cover for alleged dioxin poisoning says he will now take his claim to the High Court.
Gary Green says he has been dealing with ACC since October 2005 for what he believes is a work-related gradual process injury caused by dioxin poisoning from agri-chemical plant Ivon Watkins-Dow in Paritutu.
“So anyone thinking of claiming ACC from this problem in New Plymouth needs to be ready for a very, very long journey and be prepared to fight it right up to the High Court,” he said yesterday from his home in Western Australia.
Mr Green claimed his exposure to dioxins in the atmosphere occurred when he worked for Steel and Tube NZ Ltd from 1985 till 1988.
The workplace was about 300 metres downwind of the Paritutu IWD agri-chemical plant.
In a written decision issued this week, ACC Judge David Ongley declined Mr Green’s appeal.
He ruled that the injury was not shown to have been caused by Mr Green’s exposure in the course of his work tasks or environment.
Mr Green said he would now seek legal representation to mount a High Court appeal.
“Unfortunately, justice in the courts comes at a higher price than I as a disability pensioner [am] able to sustain,” Mr Green said.
“I’m hoping someone will take it up as a pro-bono case [for the public good].
“There is not one dioxin in my blood test which does not appear in the soil tests done around the affected area. Also it is well documented that ACC’s exclusion of medical claims on the grounds of ‘normal’ is erroneous.“
|appeal submission was 3000 pages long|
Mr Green said his appeal submission was 3000 pages long and was from medical journals and official reports “from incredibly reputable organisations“.
“If accepted they would have been very damning against the policy of ACC and the New Zealand Government in its point of reference to what medical problems dioxin causes.“